New habits help you change your life – but do you KNOW WHAT you want TO CHANGE?

Life changes and the importance of asking powerful questions

If we want to make changes in our life, in any area of our life, we need to change our daily life. And ourselves!

We need to think and behave differently, repeatedly, and consistently. We need to form new thought patterns and behaviour habits.

But do you know exactly what you want to change?

And why?

And what the outcomes are that you want to achieve? And why?

And what the specific thought and behaviour habits are that you need to implement to realise the desired change?

The best starting point for any intentional change in our life is to ask ourselves some challenging questions – and answer them!

Questions like these:

    • If my life was ‘perfect’, if it was 100% as I want it to be – what would be different compared to what it is right now?
    • What would have to change in the various areas of my life before I could call them ‘ideal’?
    • How would the ‘perfect’ version of myself be different and behave differently compared to the person I currently am?
    • And – very important – why would the desired versions of my life and of myself be better than the current versions?
    • How am I going to think, feel, and act differently in future? What will I think about myself? What will I feel? What will I do differently?

What’s the purpose of asking challenging questions?

The purpose of this type of questions is not, of course, to make us feel disappointed, incapable, or frustrated  – if right now we are at a place that’s far from ‘perfect’.

The purpose is also not to create feelings of shame, regret, missing out – because we haven’t yet managed to get where we want to be.

The only purpose of asking ourselves questions like those above is to help us gain awareness:

Our answers help us understand better

    • what’s going on in our mind and heart,
    • what’s really important to us,
    • what our dreams and aspirations are and
    • why we have them.

The increased awareness is often all we need to feel motivated and get active.

As soon as we can clearly describe the differences between our present life and our ideal life, we can start to develop ideas about what we want to change, and how we wish to show up and behave differently in future.

What do you think about the questions listed above?

Do you feel like spending some time with them, using them to explore the current state of your life? And to design a clear idea of your desired future?

Do it now – and then you can use the increased awareness to change what needs to get changed in your life:

The thought patterns and behaviour habits that currently keep you from living the life you want.

The secret of a clutterfree home and life: A clutterfree mind.

The solution to our clutter problems looks easy. But is it really easy?

From the outside, the solution to the clutter problems in our homes looks simple and easy:

Getting rid of the ‘too much stuff’, all the belongings that we don’t need, love, use (any longer) will immediately create sufficient space for the things we want to keep.

As soon as the house is clean and clear, it will be fun to organise everything nicely, and then we can lean back and relax and enjoy our home and life.

We all know, however, that in real life it’s not that simple and easy.

Instead of making decisions and taking action, we so often procrastinate and postpone our decluttering projects, and over time we are even adding new things to the clutter instead of sorting it out.

Why your brain loves the clutter in your life and wants to keep it.

It’s not your fault if you don’t do what you promised yourself to do.

You are not a weak or bad person because you procrastinate and postpone tasks and projects.

There is nothing wrong with you if you struggle to clear up the messy areas in your life.

If anyone is to blame, it’s not you. It’s your brain.

As humans, we all have a human brain. Our brain is extraordinary and amazing. Powerful and efficient. It’s really something special:

    • Having a human brain is wonderful at least half of the time – because the newer parts of our brain enable us to plan deliberately and consciously, to structure and organise, and to realise the ideas and goals that are important to us in our life.
    • Having a human brain, however, can be frustrating the other half of the time. That’s because the older parts of our brain are not at all interested in our personal development and in the realisation of our goals.

Our primitive brain is 100% focused on our survival.

And yes, that’s great – we all want to survive. However, we not only want to survive, but we also want to create, and grow, and enjoy our life.

So how can we motivate our primitive brain to partner up with us and help us achieve our goals and do the things we want to do, like getting rid of the clutter in our home?

We need to understand our human brain and what it does to keep us alive.

Our brain’s job is to ensure our survival.

These are the main parts of its ‘job description’:

    • It wants to help us save energy – That’s why it’s trying its best to make us efficient and to avoid hard work. That’s why it prefers to rinse and repeat our thoughts, feelings, and actions instead of doing anything new or challenging.
    • It wants to protect us from feeling any pain or discomfort – That’s why it wants us to seek pleasure and run away from anything that might cause us even temporary pain or discomfort.
    • It wants to keep us safe and away from any potential risks – That’s why it tells us that we can’t do new things, that we should hide ourselves where we are, that we are unable to change anything.

We need to understand and accept that our brain is programmed to protest whenever we make challenging plans and choose new goals, whenever we decide that we want to change ourselves or our lives.

The purpose and the effects of our negative and limiting thoughts.

The main strategy of our brain in doing its job as our ‘survival manager’ is to offer us negative thoughts.

It permanently tells us that we are not capable to do it, that we don’t need to do it, that we don’t know how to do it, that it’s too hard, that we will fail and feel terrible.

That our brain is coming up with these kinds of thoughts is actually not the problem. It’s just what human brains are supposed to do.

The problem is that most of these thoughts that our brain produces on default are unconscious thoughts – and that we don’t realise that they are just thoughts, not facts.

All these thoughts that are supposed to keep us from getting started, from doing what we want to do, are just sentences in our mind – they are not the truth.

The good news is that we can solve this problem.

We have a brain, but we are not our brain. We can decide to deliberately manage our mind and take control of our thoughts, those sentences in our mind.

The solution is just one thought away.

All we need is awareness and decisiveness.

We need to become aware of what we are currently thinking because what we are thinking determines what we are feeling and doing. Or not doing.

And then we can decide to declutter any limiting or useless thoughts and replace them with new powerful thoughts – thoughts that allow us to get started and help us get things done.

As soon as we get used to thinking differently, we are going to feel and act differently. We are going to start and finish what we want to do, we get things done.

How we can help our brain believe that we can take action and create results

We now know why our brain doesn’t want us to create change in our life and why it’s so determined to make it as difficult as possible for us to do new or challenging things.

We appreciate its intention (to keep us safe and comfortable) but we no longer want to follow its suggestions (because they keep us stuck).

We are willing to make some bold decisions and let go of thought errors and replace them with powerful new thoughts.

However, we can’t expect our thought work to be 100% successful from day one.

We need to expect our brain to come up with resistance.

It will fight our new ideas and it will try to prove to us that the old way of thinking about us and our abilities is the best way and that we should give up and declare defeat.

Our brain is easier to persuade if it can see some evidence that we are on the right track.

The best way to get our brain on board is to offer it some early success stories. 

And we are absolutely able to create these success stories, even when our new thoughts are not yet 100% grounded in and accepted by our brain.

We do so by committing ourselves to do some practical physical work, just a little bit, a few tiny steps – to get started and to deliver first visible and believable results.

This will help our brain to change its mind and become a supporter of our decluttering projects.


Why we need a clear mind to create a clear home

We think that the clutter in our home is the problem.

And that it’s hard to get this problem solved.

But these thoughts are not the truth. They are just thoughts.

The truth is that the activity of decluttering our physical belongings is actually quite easy.

We just need to take 3 simple but powerful steps:

    1. Taking everything out so that we get a clear idea of what we have (Gaining awareness)
    2. Deciding what no longer serves us and therefore has to go (Making decisions)
    3. Reorganising what’s left so that it’s accessible and usable (Taking action)

So why do we experience the decluttering process as difficult and hard to do?

    • Why do we struggle to get started and do the things we want to do?
    • And when we finally get active – why do we easily get stuck, feeling unable to make let-go decisions?
    • Why do we give up in the middle of the process?
    • Or, if we manage to finish it, why does the clutter come back?

The real problem is the clutter in our mind.

The clutter in our mind – all the limiting beliefs and unhelpful thoughts – makes us feel weak, confused, stressed, overwhelmed, stuck.

Typical clutter-thoughts that cause the clutter in our homes are:

    • This is too hard!
    • It’s too much work.
    • I can’t do this.
    • I never could do things like this.
    • I don’t know how to do it.
    • I don’t have the time.

Thinking these thoughts makes us feel powerless.

And if we feel powerless, we, of course, feel unable to take powerful action.

So, nothing changes:

The physical clutter stays where it is, our mind keeps its harmful thoughts, our feelings keep us stuck and inactive.

We continue to believe that the clutter in our home is the problem, and we feel unable to find a solution to the problem.

The real solution to our (clutter) problems is a mind that’s free of limiting clutter-thoughts.

We must focus our attention and work on the clutter in our mind first.

And we can apply the same 3-step process that’s the foundation of any successful physical decluttering project:

    1. We first gain awareness: We have a closer look at what’s happening up there in our mind. We start to understand better how our thinking determines how we are feeling, and what we do or don’t do. It becomes clear to us why we don’t have the results we want to have.
    2. We then make decisions: We decide which thoughts no longer serve us and have to go. We also decide what we want to be thinking instead. Our new powerful thoughts give us access to feelings like confidence, trust, energy, determination.
    3. Finally we are ready to take action: Feeling powerful enables us to take control of what’s happening in our home and life. We are ready to get it done – we get it all cleared up and the clutter out of our house and life.

What is your most dominant clutter-thought?

What are you thinking on a regular basis about yourself, and the stuff in your home?

Can you see how this mind-clutter keeps you from seeking and finding solutions for your home-clutter problem?



Are you tired?

Tired of trying to (re)organise the various areas of your life entirely on your own?

Tired of investing vast amounts of time and energy in finding a way to create a better organised = better life?

Tired of feeling overwhelmed, confused, frustrated, stressed, disappointed, exhausted, …?

Fortunately, you don’t have to figure it out all by yourself.

We can do it together.

You can decide to get my support, advice, and guidance – and achieve the desired changes in your life so much faster and easier. 

Check out how I can help you.

Your future identity depends on what you choose to think today

What’s your future identity? – Who are you becoming?

When we decide to make bigger changes in our lives or when we start to move towards achieving new goals, we are not only starting to do something differently.

Before we can start to act differently, we need to learn to think and feel differently.

Imagine someone who’s retiring after 40 years in the corporate world. This person is not only going to change daily their lifestyle and activities but also in the process of switching identities – a process that’s often not easy to go through.

Because we can’t click just a button and say, ‘Yesterday I was a manager, and today I am a retiree.’ 

Becoming someone different, and building a new identity usually takes some time, effort – and thought work.

Thus, let’s not focus so much on what we are going to do differently, let’s instead focus on intentionally choosing how we are going to think and feel differently.

Let’s actively define and create our new identity.

We can ask ourselves questions like these:

    • ‘Who am I becoming? How will my new identity look like?’
    • ‘How does that person – the new me – make decisions?’
    • ‘What does that person think?’
    • ‘How does that person feel?’
    • ‘How does that person act?
    • What’s important to that person? And what’s not?


You can’t change your past but you can choose how you want to experience the future – because you can choose your future identity.

Play around with the questions above and find your unique answers – so that you can build a close relationship with your future you.

Focusing your thinking on your future identity will help you think, feel, and act like the person you want to become.

Step 1: Define your new identity

These are just a few examples of new-identity ideas:

    • ‘I am becoming someone who is really good at time management.’
    • ‘I am becoming a mindful person,’
    • ‘I am learning to be a conscious shopper.’
    • ‘I am determined to become the organiser of my mind, my home, and my life.’

Step 2: Describe how you will think, feel, and act differently.


My future identity: I am becoming a successful ‘declutterer’

What I will think: As an expert declutterer, I make sure that there is no clutter in my mind and no clutter in my home. I only ‘own’ thoughts and belongings that serve me. My mind and my home are clutterfree and organised.

How I will feel: I feel competent and confident.

What I will do: I practice mind-decluttering every day, and I create useful habits and routines that help me to keep my home clear and clean.’

Now it’s your turn!

Who are you going to be? And what will that person – your future identiy – think, feel, and do?



Are you tired?

Tired of trying to (re)organise the various areas of your life entirely on your own?

Tired of investing vast amounts of time and energy in finding a way to create a better organised = better life?

Tired of feeling overwhelmed, confused, frustrated, stressed, disappointed, exhausted, …?

Fortunately, you don’t have to figure it out all by yourself.

We can do it together.

You can decide to get my support, advice, and guidance – and achieve the desired changes in your life so much faster and easier. 

Check out how I can help you.

3 questions that help us focus on creating more fun and excitement in our life

In a recent article of the Powerful Questions Series I discussed how defining our values and our purpose in life can give our mind and our soul structure, stability, and direction. We used a couple of questions to get a clearer idea of the priorities in our lives.

The following 3 little questions can also help us pay more attention to what’s important to us – this time the focus is on having fun and excitement in our life.

Ask yourself – and play around with the answers:

    • What am I currently excited about in my life?
    • What does it mean to me to have a full and rich life?
    • How could I have more fun and joy in my life?

You will probably not arrive at a final definition of your fun priorities and your idea of living more joyfully on purpose just by answering some questions.

But anything that helps us define our priorities in life will make it easier to move forward in a meaningful and intentional way.

Are you ready for some more fun, and excitement in your life?

Our mind – not the stuff in our home – is the cause of our (clutter) problems

Where does the clutter in our life come from?

As human beings, we all have clutter in our life:

    • Belongings in our home that we don’t need, use, love.
    • Thoughts in our minds that don’t serve us.
    • Feelings in our heart that disturb our wellbeing.
    • Actions in our daily life that draw us away from where we want to go.
    • Results in our life that keep us stuck.

The most damaging category of clutter is the clutter in our mind.

This type of clutter – all the self-limiting thoughts and unsupportive beliefs – is so powerful because the mind-clutter causes all the other types of clutter in our life.

Why we need to actively manage our mind

An unsupervised mind gets easily cluttered.

Left on its own, the lack of direction and guidance causes the mind to come up with automatic thoughts which then create feelings and actions that can

    • cause us to create a mess in our home,
    • damage our relationships with others and with ourselves,
    • hold us back in our personal development,
    • keep us stuck in a job we don’t like or slow us down in our career,
    • make our financial situation difficult,
    • keep us from setting and reaching goals and creating the life we want to have.

However, it’s within our power to take back control and clear up the mess in our mind – and in our life.

In fact, our mind can become our best and most supportive friend – if we take the initiative and learn to manage what’s going on up there and how to get rid of anything that’s not serving us.

How we can start to manage our mind and our life successfully

The best way to start is to focus.

Instead of trying to change everything to the better in one go, we take a step-by-step approach.

We choose just one area of our life and commit ourselves to get it sorted out.

Clearing up this one area – and the related part in our mind – will build and strengthen our ‘decluttering-muscles’. We become experts in recognising clutter and sorting it out.

We also become mind-management experts.

Now we are the ones who decide what’s happening in our mind. Limiting thoughts are no longer tolerated, we get really good at letting go of what doesn’t serve us.

We gain space and clarity in our mind. Now we are free to move on with new useful thoughts, feelings and actions – which help us to create the results we want to have in the chosen area of our life.

Your home could be the one area of your life that you focus on.

Team up with your mind and get the clutter out – out of your home and out of your mind.

Why we need to be very careful about what we are thinking

If we aren’t getting the result we want it’s because of a thought.

Our thoughts create our feelings, our feelings drive our actions, our actions accumulate into results. – The trouble starts when we forget about this powerful cycle of results-creation.

If something is not as we want it to be, if we have a result in our life that we don’t like, we often believe that something is wrong with us. Or we blame certain ‘unfair’ circumstances in our life.

Feeling incapable, out of control and stuck is the consequence, and making any changes to the unsatisfying situation seems impossible.

However, we can do something about it.

We can change the results we currently have by changing the thoughts we currently think.

One of the many ways to test our thoughts – especially our limiting beliefs – is to ask ourselves powerful questions – AND answer them! For example:

    • ‘If I didn’t believe this, then what would I do?’
    • ‘What if I’m wrong about that?’
    • ‘What if this is just a story my mind made up?’

Click here to learn more about how we can declutter our limiting thoughts.

Knowing and living our values gives life structure and stability

What can we do to ensure that we live and experience our life the way we want to live and experience it?

Deeply understanding what’s truly important to us and defining our values can give our mind structure, stability, and direction.

You can use this little exercise to become more aware of what you value:

Ask yourself questions like these:

    • What’s really important to me in the different areas of my life?
    • Am I currently neglecting important values?
    • What do I want to achieve in my life, today and tomorrow, in the next 5 years, etc?
    • Where do I want to focus my time and my energy right now?

Don’t rush through the questions.

To really benefit from the exercise, you need to be willing to invest some time. Consider the questions, one by one, and write down what comes to your mind. 

For example:

Before you answer the first question, you could make a list of the different areas of your life.

Your list might include important relationships, your work, your finances, your home, your hobbies and interests, your personal development, your fitness and health, etc.

Then you can go through your list and write down what’s most important to you in each area. 

At the end of the exercise, you can take your notes and decide how you could use your insights to now truly ‘value your values’. Ask – and answer:

    • How can I pay more attention to what’s important to me in my daily life?
    • Could I start a new personal or professional project, here and now, that’s closely linked to my values and my goals?
    • What else can I do to truly value what’s important to me?

Knowing what’s important to us helps us value and fully live our life, the way we want to live it. 


Are you tired?

Tired of trying to (re)organise the various areas of your life entirely on your own?

Tired of investing vast amounts of time and energy in finding a way to create a better organised = better life?

Tired of feeling overwhelmed, confused, frustrated, stressed, disappointed, exhausted, …?

Fortunately, you don’t have to figure it out all by yourself.

We can do it together.

You can decide to get my support, advice, and guidance – and achieve the desired changes in your life so much faster and easier. 

Check out how I can help you.

How a conversation with your future self can help you to achieve your goals

The secret to creating the life you want: Talk to your Future Self.

A conversation with our future self brings us clarity.

This little exercise can be fun. And it can be extremely helpful if we feel a bit stuck.

EXERCISE – Talk to your much older future self

Imagine your future self being much older than you are now. You can expect her to be much wiser and more mindful and knowledgeable at this stage of life. 

Picture yourself sitting together with your future self, having a relaxed conversation with her. Don’t forget to take notes while you are talking with her.

STEP 1 – Choose a topic

Choose the area of your life you want to discuss with your future self. Tell her what you wish to change, improve, achieve.

STEP 2 – Ask powerful questions

Now ask her these 3 questions:

    • What does she recommend you should stop doing?
    • What does she want you to start doing?
    • What does she think you should continue doing?

Don’t judge or evaluate, just write down whatever comes up in her(your) mind.

Don’t push away what you don’t like to hear. Take your time to think it through.

STEP 3 – Create an action plan

Choose one or two of her recommendations about what you should stop, start, or continue doing.

Compile an action plan: List all the things you want to think, feel, and do differently.

Then start realising your goals.

Don’t postpone, take the first step – now.



Are you tired?

Tired of trying to (re)organise the various areas of your life entirely on your own?

Tired of investing vast amounts of time and energy in finding a way to create a better organised = better life?

Tired of feeling overwhelmed, confused, frustrated, stressed, disappointed, exhausted, …?

Fortunately, you don’t have to figure it out all by yourself.

We can do it together.

You can decide to get my support, advice, and guidance – and achieve the desired changes in your life so much faster and easier. 

Check out how I can help you.

A set of 3 little questions – to make our actions and activities more valuable

Each day in our life offers numerous opportunities to learn something new, to gain helpful insights, to think in a different way, to benefit from an experience.

Unfortunately, we often miss these opportunities because we rush through our day. We are in a hurry to start, manage, and complete tasks, projects, processes, activities. We want to get it done so that we can move on to the next thing.

We don’t take the time to look back at what we have been doing, we don’t pay attention to the results we have created, we don’t stop to evaluate, review and adjust – we just move on, and on, and on.

How can we become more aware of learning opportunities and use them deliberately for our personal development?

A set of 3 little questions can help.

As soon as a job, task or project has been completed, at the end of an event, after any success or failure experience, at the end of the day/week/month/year month, we can ask ourselves:

    • What worked?
    • What didn’t work?
    • What am I going to do differently?


At the end of today, pause for a moment, and see what you can learn from your answers to the questions

    • What worked out today? What did I do successfully? What positive results have I created today?
    • What didn’t work? What feels like a failure? Why? What went wrong, or not as expected/wanted?
    • What can I learn from this? What can I do differently tomorrow?

How a new evening routine can bring some light at the end of the day

What could you ask instead of ‘How was your day?’

Asking another person positive questions not only helps that person lighten up their mood, it also helps us: Making the effort to think about a good question and hearing ourselves asking it opens up our own mind to the good experiences in our life.

Give it a try, play around and experiment with asking other questions in the evening than just ‘How was your day?’

These are some suggestions:

    • Tell me three good things that happened to you today.
    • What was the best conversation you had today?
    • What are you most grateful for about your day?
    • What made you laugh today?
    • What did you do that was just for you today?
    • What was the best part of your day? Why?
    • Etc.

‘Inventing’ new powerful questions can become a great shared activity at the end of the day, a fun game that you can play with your partner/family at the dinner table every evening.

The good thing about this evening routine, however, is that we don’t need to have other people around us to do it.  

We can create the habit to ask ourselves at least one powerful question before or while we are going to bed.

Make sure that you have a positive mind at the end of the day!

How appreciation and gratitude help us fill up our personal treasure chest

Do you truly appreciate what you have in your life?

Daily practicing our appreciation of the good things in our life helps us strengthen our positive-feeling ‘muscle’. It makes us feel better. And stronger.

The purpose of the ‘Treasure Chest’ exercise is to come up with positive thoughts about the things we value and appreciate in our life, all the stuff we are grateful for and happy about.

These thoughts in turn will help us fill up our personal ‘treasure chest’ of positive and powerful feelings.

All the appreciation, gratefulness, happiness and contentedness that we add to our ‘treasure chest’ does not only make us feel good in that moment, it will also keep our heart warm during cloudy or stormy periods that might come up in the future.

How do you fill up your personal treasure chest?

Invest 10 minutes each day and write down what comes up to your mind when you ask yourself questions like these:

    • What am I grateful for today?
    • What am I happy about just now?
    • What are the people in my life that are particularly valuable to me?
    • What are the things in my life (personal belongings, money, space, time, etc) that I really appreciate?
    • What have I done/am I doing that I am really proud of?
    • Etc.

The nice thing about this treasure chest is that it’s not heavy and it can’t be stolen. We can carry it around with us all day, we can open it any time, and we can share it with others if we want to.

Enjoy what’s in your personal treasure chest!